Los Angeles has always been known for bucking tradition, so it’s no accident that Southern California gives those who visit during Thanksgiving ample opportunity to do the same. With average temperatures well into the 60s, numerous dining options, and many attractions open for at least part of the day, Thanksgiving in LA is as stuffed with activities as that turkey about to be carved.
For a fun, family-friendly Thanksgiving, a visit to one of LA’s theme parks may be just the ticket. The newest attraction at Universal Studios Hollywood is Transformers™: The Ride-3D, an immersive, next-generation thrill ride that blurs the line between fiction and reality. Fusing HD 3D media and flight simulation technology, this epic ride creates an experience unlike anything this planet has ever seen. Speaking of thrills, Six Flags Magic Mountain recently reclaimed its crown as the undisputed “Roller Coaster Capital of the World” with its 17th coaster, and an 18th is on the way. The park’s Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom is the current record holder as the tallest drop tower ride in the world. For a classic, oceanfront experience, visit Pacific Park at the Santa Monica Pier for rides and games the whole family will enjoy.
At more than 4,000 acres, Griffith Park is a day unto itself, with plenty of hiking trails to work off all the Thanksgiving Day overindulging. The Griffith Observatory offers stunning architecture and a breathtaking view of the LA basin, though its closed for the holiday. Train enthusiasts can check out the Travel Town Museum, open daily except Christmas Day and featuring fully-preserved trains that give visitors a chance to brush up on U.S. rail history. The Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens is also open every day except Christmas and is home to 1,200 rare and endangered mammals, reptiles and birds, and includes areas such as the Campo Gorilla Reserve and Red Ape Rain Forest. Located near the Western Canyon entrance of Griffith Park, Ferndell is a favorite Park destination, especially on a hot summer afternoon. The winding trail, tropical garden, babbling brook and picnic area offer a quiet retreat from the bustling city.
The Laugh Factory
The world-famous Laugh Factory will host its 33rd annual Thanksgiving Feast, welcoming the underprivileged, the homeless and anyone alone for the holiday to a day of free food, fun, and comedy.
Top comedians including Dane Cook, Dave Chappelle, Kevin Nealon, Larry Miller, Maz Jobrani, Paul Mooney, Paul Rodriguez, Tim Allen, Tom Arnold and Tom Dreesen will greet and help serve guests, as well as perform live shows following each of four meals served at 1pm, 3pm, 5pm and 7pm. Since its inception, the Laugh Factory has fed over 150,000 people through its annual Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. Past celebrity guests have included Chris Rock, Jamie Foxx, Jamie Kennedy, Bob Saget, and the late Richard Pryor, among many others.
Thanksgiving Day Run and Food Drive
This 5K Run/Walk and 1 mile Kids Run has been a local tradition and a La Cañada Flintridge community favorite with families, athletes, and community supporters of all types for nearly two decades. All ages and abilities are welcome to participate in this professionally timed race. Pets on leashes and strollers are welcome. Awards, snacks and drinks will be provided to the participants. All participants need to bring a non-perishable food item. In past years, donations have exceeded more than 10,000 cans, and organizers hope to make this year the biggest food drive yet. The Thanksgiving Day Run and Food Drive is taking place from 8:30am to 11:30am at Memorial Park in La Cañada Flintridge.
Thanksgiving Lunch at Aquarium of the Pacific
While most museums are closed on Thanksgiving, the Aquarium of the Pacific is offering a Thanksgiving Lunch that gives visitors a unique opportunity to dine in the midst of over 11,000 animals from the world’s largest ocean. The traditional Thanksgiving buffet will be served in the Aquarium’s Café Scuba from 11am to 5pm. $35 per adult (12+) and $27 per child (member discounts available). RSVP: (562) 590-3100, ext. 0.
Champagne Thanksgiving Buffet
Cafe Sierra Restaurant is hosting a Holiday Champagne Brunch Buffet and Seafood & Prime Rib Dinner Buffet in the Sierra Ballroom of Hilton Los Angeles / Universal City hotel… and you are invited! Join us for a feast of Thanksgiving classics and and varied array of chef specialties. Entrees will include:
Roast Turkey and Giblet Stuffing
Fresh Fruit, Cake, and Tarts
Chocolate Fondue Fountain and much more!Holiday Champagne Brunch
$42.00 per person for Adults
$22.00 per person for Children (3-10)Seafood & Prime Rib Holiday Dinner Buffet
$52.00 per person for Adults
$24.00 per person for Children (3-10)Available Thanksgiving day, November 22th from 10:00am – 3:00pm.
For reservations, please contact Cafe Sierra at 818-509-2030